COSAM News Articles 2022 February Spotlight on COSAM Projects for Tiger Giving Day: Davis Arboretum’s Meadow Renovation Project

Spotlight on COSAM Projects for Tiger Giving Day: Davis Arboretum’s Meadow Renovation Project

Published: 02/15/2022

By: Leslie Leak

With Auburn University’s 2022 Tiger Giving Day just around the corner on Feb. 23, the Donald E. Davis Arboretum has an exciting new project in bloom. The Auburn Family can donate to the Meadow Renovation Project during this annual 24-hour online fundraising initiative. 

“We are excited to announce plans for the Meadow Renovation and feel it will be an important educational enhancement to the existing arboretum landscape,” said Morgan Pendergrass, Davis Arboretum Director.

Pendergrass explained that the new design will feature a deconstructed approach - allowing students and visitors an up-close view of a meadow’s components rather than just the expansive view one might observe from a large meadow. 

“We found that since its flowers tend to be small, when you look at a larger meadow, it can be difficult to explain the elements and purpose in terms of pollination. With this project, we will utilize our existing space by reimagining a meadow within the small existing footprint. This will give people a better understanding of its overall components, function, and purpose,” said Pendergrass. 

Located just south of the pitcher plant bog, the meadow will feature raised planter beds made of Corten steel and will contain individual bands of plants found in a typical Alabama meadow, such as Black-eyed Susans, Milkweed, and Purple Coneflower. This design not only gives visitors an opportunity to have a closer view, but containing the plants in raised beds will simplify maintenance.

 “Anyone with an interest in plants will be able to enjoy the new meadow. We often have many Auburn University campus classes visit us, such as those studying sustainability, conservation biology, and entomology. The meadow will also be a great educational resource for K-12 students and other community groups,” said Pendergrass.  

Pendergrass said that many people discovered the arboretum as a welcomed resource during the Covid-19 pandemic. “We had people come amid lockdown from all over and were happy to give them the opportunity to see each other face-to-face in a serene, outdoor setting. We have really seen our number of visitors grow!”  

Donations raised through Tiger Giving Day will go directly towards construction of these new beds. “Depending on various moving parts, we are hopeful to begin construction on the meadow between summer of this year and spring 2023,” said Pendergrass.

Pendergrass said Tiger Giving Day is one of her favorite days of the year, and she is looking forward to sharing the Meadow Renovation Project with the public on Feb. 23. “I love seeing the Auburn Family come together to support such great projects on Tiger Giving Day. You experience this generous outpouring of love and thanks - all in support of the Auburn mission.”

The Davis Arboretum is a 13.5-acre botanic garden facility located in the heart of Auburn’s campus. Supported by COSAM, it provides visitors with a place to enjoy a natural setting and experience the native plants and habitats of Alabama, while also promoting conservation, research, and outreach.

For additional information regarding the Davis Arboretum’s Meadow Renovation Project, please contact L. Morgan Pendergrass, Arboretum Director, at beadllm@auburn.edu.

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